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VOLUME 7 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2019 ) > List of Articles

RESEARCH ARTICLE

Awareness amongst Different Strata of Society Regarding the “Good Samaritan Law”

Stuti Verma, Vijay K Tadia, Shakti Gupta

Keywords : Accident victim, Good Samaritan Law, Road safety

Citation Information : Verma S, Tadia VK, Gupta S. Awareness amongst Different Strata of Society Regarding the “Good Samaritan Law”. Int J Res Foundation Hosp Healthc Adm 2019; 7 (2):75-84.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10035-1108

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 17-07-2020

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd.


Abstract

Introduction: The current annual death toll on Indian roads is over 140,000. Over 70,000 lives can be potentially saved if bystanders come forward to help the victims. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the absence of established emergency medical services, bystanders can play a crucial role in saving lives. The Law Commission of India report says that 50% of the victims who died of preventable injuries could have been saved had they received the medical care on time. A Good Samaritan can save a life in many emergent situations. Aim and objective: A study on awareness among different strata of society regarding the “Good Samaritan Law” (GSL). Materials and methods: The study involved a qualitative research design using in-depth semistructured questionnaires to elicit participant perspectives on the rescue principles in relation to their awareness of the law. A simple random sampling method was used to arrive at the representative sample. A pilot study was conducted, and a sample size of 60 responses each was required from seven groups representing different strata of society. The survey was conducted in Delhi NCR region, India. It included doctors and nurses from six hospitals (three government and three private), police, general public, lawyers, media personnel, and teachers. The study was conducted from January 2017 to August 2017. A questionnaire- and interview-based study was conducted taking into account representative sample of various representatives from different strata of society. The method of simple random sampling was used to arrive at representative sample size. Data was collected after instituting questionnaires and interviewing 420 participants from different occupations over a period of 8 months. Doctors and nurses were interviewed from over six different hospitals (three public and three private) of Delhi/NCR region in India. The questionnaires were given to police personnel, lawyers, media personnel, teachers, and general public. Results: The study revealed that people from different strata of society in India hesitated to come forward to help road accident victims. In total, 85% of them had attributed this hesitation to fear of legal and procedural hassles. These hassles include intimidation by police, unnecessary detention at hospitals, and prolonged legal formalities. Conclusion: Many people die in road crashes with treatable injuries but no one helps out of fear of getting into trouble. On March 30, 2016, the Supreme Court of India gave “force of law” to the guidelines for the protection of Good Samaritans issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The purpose of a Good Samaritan law is to provide legal protection to bystanders who come to the aid and rescue of victims of road crashes. Enforcement of Good Samaritan Law may motivate the people to help the road accident victims in the hour of need.


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